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Immunology. 1998 Jul;94(3):290-6.

Maintenance of granulocyte numbers during acute peritonitis is defective in galectin-3-null mutant mice.

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Unité INSERM 257 ICGM, Paris, France.


Galectin-3, also known as the macrophage marker Mac-2, is a member of a family of structurally related animal lectins that exhibit specificity for beta-galactosides. In order to investigate the role of galectin-3 in acute inflammation, we have compared the number of leucocytes present in the peritoneal cavity of wild type and galectin-3 null mutant mice after intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of thioglycolate broth. At day 1 after injection, we found no difference in the recruitment of mononuclear phagocytes and granulocytes to the peritoneal cavity. However, 4 days after thioglycolate injection, galectin-3 mutant mice exhibited a significantly reduced number of recoverable granulocytes compared to wild-type animals. As mutant granulocytes did not exhibit an accelerated rate of apoptosis and their uptake by macrophages appeared to be unaffected by the mutation, the phenotype described here suggests that galectin-3 participates in an additional level of control during the resolution of acute inflammation.

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